Many individuals are often curious about unconventional methods of plant care, including using bong water as a potential fertilizer. But, is bong water good for watering plants? Well, the viability of bong water for use on houseplants deserves a deeper dive into the properties at play. While the ethos of eliminating waste has merit, the bong water is not making the best fertilizing elixir. Let’s analyze the factors impacting whether leftover bong water helps or harms houseplants.
What’s in Bong Water?
To assess if bong water would nourish or damage plants, we must first understand what materials infuse it. Key substances that leach into water that has passed through a bong generally include:
Particulate plant matter from cannabis flowers
Resins and oils present within trichomes
Tar and other byproducts of combustion
Saliva, bacteria, and other microbes
Additionally, the mineral content and pH of the source water impacts its quality and final form after being filtered through a bong.Tap water can vary widely in its levels of chlorine, fluoride, calcium carbonate, magnesium, and other dissolved solids. Natural spring water sources have their own native mineral matrix. So bong water can range quite a bit in composition depending on both the cannabis variety and original water inputs.
How Bong Water Could Potentially Benefit Plants
At first glace, bong water might seem like a nourishing concoction for plants. Unadulterated water filtered through living cannabis flowers likely contains trace amounts of organic plant sugars, slightly bioavailable nutrients like nitrogen and potassium, and possibly even growth-promoting hormones or extracts like indole-3-butyric acid, gibberellic acid, or triacontanol. This would present a natural, gentle fertilizing effect.
In the vein ofusing compost teas or mild organic fertilizers like worm castings to nourish plants, bong water could hypothetically offer a small plant growth boost. And at the very least, its primary ingredient — water — improves moisture levels for plants which aids growth.
Factors Causing Concerns for Bong Water Safety
Unfortunately, upon closer analysis, several risks and drawbacks surface regarding applying bong water to houseplants. For exemple, the water has become contaminated with pathogens.
- Microbial contamination – Bacteria and mold present in residual bong water after use could transferred to plants, promoting foliar and root diseases. Human saliva introduces additional bacteria.
- Chemical contamination – While some nutrients transfer from the plant into the water, so do other less helpful substances like the resinous tar and particulate ash. Smoke contains multiple known carcinogens and toxins. Chemical residue left in bong water pose toxicity dangers if transferred directly onto living plants.
- Fluctuating pH levels – Depending on the alkalinity or acidity of both the original water plus compounds pulled from smoke, the final bong water solution may reach pH extremes that burn and shock plant roots. Most plants thrive best within a pH of 5.5 to 7.
- Over-fertilization hazards – While the nutrient ratio and dilute concentration present in used bong water isn’t quantified, there exists risk of over-feeding plants with excessive nitrogen. Too much fertilizer salts create challenges absorbing water and nutrients properly.
- Salt build up potential – Bong water may have high conductivity and dissolved solids measurements, indicating inadequate quality for irrigating plants. Salt build up leads to desiccation.
Overall, significant heavy metal presence, pathogens, and saline compounds render reused bong water entirely unsafe. This precludes bong water from having any soil amendment benefits.
Alternative Uses for Bong Water
While reusing bong water on plants remains inadvisable, more suitable options exist for eliminating bong water waste:
- Filter through activated charcoal or reverse osmosis process to reclaim pure water. However, this requires proper equipment and doesn’t recapture dissolved mineral content.
- Compost dissolved solids by pouring bong water onto compost piles. The heat generated helps remove pathogens and sterilize byproducts.
- Utilize as a dire cleaning solvent for glass pieces. Salt, alcohol, and hot water work best for full sanitization and resin removal.
- Repurpose bong water as a fabric dye bath rather than dumping it. The pigments may bind to textiles.
- Deploy bong water as a pest control method outdoors. Certain chemical extracts could deter garden pests like insects, rodents, or deer. But further experimentation remains needed.
The Verdict: Bong Water and Plants Don’t Mix
While the motives come from an earth-friendly place, reusing bong water on plants unfortunately causes more potential harm than good. Until cannabis horticultural research corroborates best practices for capture and application, erring with caution steers growers away from this questionably safe elixir. However, bong water need not be tossed down the drain completely unused. With some creative thinking, it can be repurposed or decomposed through methods safer for homes, gardens, and our shared Earth.